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Casper Van Dien
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Darklands follows journalist Frazer Truick as he investigates the mysterious death of the brother of trainee journalist Rachel Morris. Delving deeper, Truick becomes convinced that the tragedy was murder, committed by a bizarre religious cult. But as the evidence unfolds, things take on a more sinister and potentially lethal significance for the reporter, as he becomes embroiled in devil worship, witchcraft and ultimately human sacrifice! Written by
An industrial Celtic cult is recruiting people from the local steel mill and leading them in pagan sacrifice rituals - I wonder if it could have anything to do with the gypsies just outside the mill? This is an example of one of the plot drivers that this film relies on - ones that are pretty obvious from the start.
However the film also has plenty of other plot twists that are revealed along the way, most of these are good but too many rely on coincidence or overlooking the facts. The whole cult-conspiracy thing is a bit unbelievable
maybe the Wickerman succeeded with a similar plot due to the island
setting - here set in Wales it's not as easy to accept. But if you can overlook this then it's actually quite good.
The performances are OK - Fairbrass doesn't quite bring off the fear and confusion that he should but does a reasonable leading man. Rowena King is good as the love interest Rachael, she's there to add a bit of sex to the proceedings - however that said the love scenes between her and Fairbrass are laughable, clearly neither agreed to be naked on screen and their orgasms are harder to believe than a Celtic cult sacrificing Welsh people. The other characters are mainly rent-a-Celtic-thugs or small parts - you can usually tell whose bad or good easily enough due to the performances.
The plot is reasonable but regularly fails to convince - with most good films you're able to buy into it at least while you're watching it. For most of it however the twists keep your interest. When I read the comments on these pages I watched this in anticipation for the shock ending - however it's not there! You pretty much know how it's going to end 20/30 minutes before it happens. It's still an OK ending but lets not make this out to be what it isn't - a reasonable TV special that got some lottery money to become a film.
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